Friday, August 2, 2013

Cleaning with Barbie & "Pre-planning"

   Yesterday I took an hour or so to sort through my daughter's big, messy, Barbie bin.  It was a monster junk pile. Just organizing and taking out things that don't belong, trash.  Sorting.  Dressing any naked Barbies just for the sake of politeness.  Sometimes it was hard to find matching outfits.  That led me to sort the clothes by season and by separates: tops in one stack, disco mini-dresses in another, and so on.  I did take a few minutes to apply accessories.  It's integral to dressing them.  As long as I'd started, I might as well find the right shoes.  Usually platform pumps, but sometimes a lace-to-the-knee boot is an exciting choice.  Do you know how to make dorky Ken look much more attractive?  You put him in a pair of nerdy, black rimmed glasses.  I'm telling you, it's transformative!  And guess who just happened to have a pair of black rimmed nerd glasses that fit just right?    That right......ME! daughter, I mean.

     Once everyone was dressed and sorted out I thought it would be a really fun idea to arrange the Barbies in the doll house in interesting vignettes.  Then my daughter can find them like that when she gets back from her Grandparents' house.  What fun!  So I had a couple girls in the kitchen having tea and birthday cake.  Newly hot, hipster Ken lounging on the fainting sofa while Ballerina Barbie plays the electric guitar in the living room.  A little cocktail party on the upstairs patio.  Adding to the excitement is a royal couple riding in a horse-drawn carriage just in front of he house.  What are the odds!  A Barbie photo-journalist catching the scene from the street with her snazzy hot pink camera.  And  a couple of beach babes whizzing by in a speedboat.  Um, yeah, the water is vaguely out there somewhere.

  So what I wanted to say is that I played Barbies, by myself, in my daughter's room, for over an hour yesterday.

  Sorry bills and laundry, I had important "cleaning" to do. :)

     One more thing.  The other day I was driving and noticed a billboard about "Pre-planning your Burial Arrangements".  Pre-planning?  Isn't the "Pre" already included in the word "planning"?  Isn't the very nature of planning to think about something "pre" the acutal event?

Dying: Think about giving it some thought. 

     I think if you go to their office and buy a burial are just planning your burial.  There.  It's all planned.  Pre-planning is maybe what you do when you just look at the billboard and wonder if you should think about planning your burial.  Right?  Maybe their slogan could be, "When you think it's time to think about planning, plan to think of us."  Catchy.



Monday, July 29, 2013

Free Design Advice from a Well Endowed Consumer

Dear Makers of Athletic Wear,

   Racer-Back = Athletic has run it's course, so to speak.  It's time to expand your design paradigm.  There are some women out there, many acutally, who do not have small, perky, athletic boobs but we exercise anyway.  We are buxom, naturally jiggly women of all ages who do not fit into any of your athletic tops and it is pissing us off.  It's discouraging.  We are TRYING for God's sake.  Give us the tiniest bit of encouragement by selling a workout top with straps across the shoulders.

  It doesn't matter if you just make the tops bigger.  They need to have straps across the shoulders. Why?  Do you rememer that scene in The Aviator, when Leonardo Dicaprio played Howard Hughs, where he draws out a schematic for uplifting Jane Russell's bodacious tatas? Applying some basic physics and engineering concepts?  Please obtain that film and have your designers watch that scene carefully.

Racerback?  I think not.
We need more lift.  And separation.

  Weight must be distributed.  Gravity is a bitch.  Bouncing will occur no matter how space-age the spandex.  It does not feel good to have all the force concentrated in a area between your shoulder blades just below your neck!  In fact it is a Magical Migraine Creator.

 There was a time when I went in search of the elusive "No Bounce" workout.  I put on a regular bra, a sportsbra, and a super supportive (racerback) workout top.  Then I headed into the gym to run on the treadmill.  I swaggered in like Mighty Mouse, feeling solid, feeling good.  I started a light jog and was amazed.  Packed in firmly, zero bounce!  It was liberating!  I thought, "So this is what flat chested girls feel like when they run."  (Minus 10 pounds above the waist.)  But then as I ran a little more, turned up the speed a bit, got my heartrate up.....I realized a tragic flaw in my plan: the inability to breathe.  I tried to remain calm, casual, breathing faster and faster, very shallow.  That's called panting, apparently.  And it makes those around you uncomfortable.  Apparently. Gasping, even more so.  Experiment over: unsuccessful.

No bounce, no oxygen.

 So I, like many others, continue to walk the bounce vs. breathing line.  We would like to excercise, we would prefer not to suffer cervical spine damage in the process.  My current strategy is to just let the bra straps hang out.  "Here they are world! Deal with it!"  And that's working okay.  But just in case anyone would like to design and sell a supportive, well made, exercise top with straps across the shoulders - not racerback at all, not even a little - I will buy it.  Just lettng you know.

  Now I will insert some phrases like "underwire non-negotiable" and "straps around the neck = pain" and forward this to your swimsuit department. 

  Thank you. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

We prefer Tin "Person"

There comes a time in everyone's life, apparently, where you feel a need to quantify just how chubby and slow you actually are.  It's not enough to just know you are. You need a number.  A number that can be published on the internet and placed in a chart comparing you to other people your age who are in good shape.

For me, that time is in one week.  Because my husband signed me up to do the Desert Sprint Triathlon. So far my training has consisted mainly of worrying about it a lot.

It's one of those "Tin Man" mini-triathlon events.  500m swim, 14 miles bike, 3 mile run.  I said I'd do it because my 10 year old son is going to do it this year.  Which is awesome. I was so proud of him for wanting to do it and I knew I'd want to be there anyway to cheer the guys on.  So I thought, "Why not?"  But that was just my initial thought.  My subsequent thoughts, after a bit more reflection, are more like "What on earth was I thinking?"

Until this last Sunday, my main fear was the freezing cold swim in the nasty lake.  (More like a "lake").  But last Sunday, my hubby put together a mini-mini-triathlon for us to see what it might be like.  I was pretty iffy on the cold swim pratice.  I don't want to do it more than once.  As much as I dread it, I believe at the moment of truth, with a start line banner and announcer and hundreds of other people jumping in, peer pressure will win me over.  I'll just be like "F**k it" and take the leap with everyone else.  Do we need to practice being cold?

But he is our Alpha-Dog and where he goes, we follow. We swam, in our wetsuits, in a local man-made ski lake. I made it about 200 meters.  Not even half the distance of the actual event.  I couldn't put my head all the way in because it felt like the cold was making my skull spontaneously fracture.  I felt pretty out of breath, and claustrophobic in that wetsuit, and mostly freezing.  I know this is not exactly Lake Michigan in winter, but I'm an extra extra big cold water wimp.  So it's like calculationg wind chill factor: you have to adjust the scale.

So now my biggest fear is actually drowning.

But I have to give credit where it is due to the Alpha Dog.  Because I did feel pretty encouraged after the whole bike and run.  (Really more of a "run")  And wonderfully wrung out.  Plus tuna melts and fries afterward tasted about 1000 times better than ususal.  And it was a reality check.  Which is always helpful. I least I can feel like my fear of drowning is based on the facts, logic.  Not just unfounded hysteria.

Wish me luck friends.  And if I should perish in that smelly nasty "lake", it has been lovely knowing you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My husband told me one morning..
Him: I had the most frustrating dream last night.
Me: What was it?  Work stuff?
Him: No. I was in charge of getting Britney Spears across the desert on a camel.  And it was a nightmare because she was a complete idiot.
Me:  Were you on a camel too?
Him:  No, just her.  I was leading.  But she was so whiny and uncoordinated and I was like "Just get your ass on the camel!"

Hate those Britney-frustration-camel-dreams. :P

And here's something else from last week.

Does this seem a little weird?  At all?

A pupusa huh.  And they're not even serving them, they are "servig" them.  I guess that's what they do to papusas down in El Salvador.

And I always question the 24 hour thing, just as a business strategy.  Early Wednesday, still night, 3 AM: is there a hungry crowd looking for donut holes and papusas?  I'm probably just wasting my life, sleeping, while the papusa party train is rolling down at Winchell's.

That's all.  Just checking really.  :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Professional Mommer Competes in Mom Olympics

   There wouldn't be any events like "Driving While Quizzing Kids on Spelling Words from Written List and Distributing Eggos and Bananas to Backseat Riders". That's a gimme. You couldn't really consider yourself a contestant if you weren't performing tasks like these routinely. It would be like saying the first Track & Field event is to see who is able to tie their running shoes.

  Do the eggos have butter on them that could drip on school uniforms? Is the Mom aware that there is a speedtrap on the corner where she must turn to school? What about the brief "Did not!" "You did so!" "Nuh uh!" "Yeah huh!!" coup from the backseat that threatened to derail the whole event? Oh, and is the runner aware she must lift her knees in order to run? Please.

  No no. A event in this of Olympic category would be something like "Pushing Costco Shopping Cart Containing 8 Flats of Drinks Plus Snacks, Weighing Approximately 250 lbs, through Crowded Parking Lot, While Holding a Hot Dog and Diet Coke with One Hand, Wearing a Skirt and It Has Suddenly Become Very Windy". Now that's an event. Competitors are encouraged to wear attractive yet modest underclothes for this particular challenge in case things don't go as planned.

  "Well, she's making it hard on herself", you might say. "Why would she be carrying a hot dog?" The obvious answer is that it is 2:30 and there hasn't been time for lunch and she goes directly from here to school and from school to piano lessons. It's a hot dog now or nothing. "Surely she doesn't need a Diet Coke", you might say. "That's making the whole thing much harder." I'm not sure I can even dignify that with a response, but how exactly do you expect anything to occur for the rest of the day if she doesn't have a Diet Coke?! Huh?!! We don't have time here to go into the most basic chemisty and physiology of Mom-ism, but take it from me, it's like asking why a cyclist uses round wheels instead of square. It's a non-question.

  So I'm thinking an event like this Costco walking-lunch gusty-wind-skirt challenge would serve as a qualifying event. Narrowing the field for the more challenging events to come. Like this one. Let's call it....hmmm...My Friday. Drop kids off at school on time, make it across town to work by 8:30. Teach EKG class until 12:30. Drive to car dealership to exchange loaner for repaired car. Eat lunch while driving. Exchange car in 20 minutes or less. Arrive at school in costume to run 2 classroom Halloween parties simultaneously. Clean up, head outside to Harvest Fair to volunteer at Pumpkin Patch. Leave by 5 pm to make it to swim team practice. Home, dinner, lie on floor.

  It might not sound THAT hard. But the professional will see the what's written between the lines. "The EKG class is supposed to go till 3. What will you tell their directors?" This is where negotiating comes into play. "The car dealership is never going to get you out of there in 20 minutes." You have to MAKE them be done in 20 minutes. There is no alternative. "But the Mom can't BE in 2 different classrooms at the same time?" That's assuming she must play by the laws of physics as you know them. Never assume.

  For a true fan of the sport, the art of Mom-ism is logistics. Hah!! You thought I was going to say "love" or something sappy like that didn't you? Reality check: logistics. FIRST of all, there's no going home between 7:30am and 7:00 pm. That means packing the night before like you are a Sherpa on an Everest Expedition. Work materials for EKG class. 2 class parties? About 10 bags/ 100 lbs of junk. Divided, labeled, ready to go. Swim bags packed so kids can change in the car on the way. Assume you'll have a headache and make sure you know where your Diet Coke is coming from. AND it means teaching your professional class in a witch costumes. There just isn't time to change. If you are a'll go there.

  I am sad to report that I came in 5th in this particular event which did not allow me to move on to the next tier. I did not figure out how to be physically present in 2 classrooms simultaneously, although I gave it the old college try. And.....well....we totally missed swim practice. Instead I decided to sit in the grass eating a caramel apple watching my kids run around like maniacs with their friends in a state of sugar induced mania. It was a lot more fun than swim practice. So I got knocked out of the competition. Temporarily. But there is always next year. Or more likely, next week.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Incomplete Authority Network

My 8 year old son, Cole, and his friend Ian were inventing acronyms for their names. Cole thought of this one for Ian: Incomplete Authority Network. It's brilliant. Understated yet full of potential meaning. I actually feel like I could work at the I.A. Network. As a personal assistant to the undersecretary of committee relations. Hoping to one day make it all the way up to Midlevel Vice President in charge of policy review.

Ian thought of this one for Cole: Commenting On-Line Legacy Entries. He nailed it. In fact, I think I may have gotten an error message last week with this very phrase. I thought maybe it had something to do with blog comments? I didn't know what it meant so I just hit the "accept" button. That's pretty much how I deal with pop-ups and error messages and stuff.

Here's something else: Have you ever had a conversation like this with an 8 year old?

Setting - Cole's bedroom.

Me: Cole, where is your chair?
Cole: What chair?
Me: Your desk chair. The only chair normally in your room. It's not here. Where is it?
Cole: Oh. Huh. I dunno.
Me: You didn't notice it was gone?
Cole: No
Me: You have no idea what happened to your chair?
Cole: Nope
Me: You didn't TAKE your chair anywhere? Out of your room?
Cole: No...I don't think so.
Me: You don't THINK so?
Cole: Well, I don't think I did.
Me: But you might have? You might have picked up that chair and carried it somewhere and then forgot about it?
Cole: Maybe

It was in the hall bathroom. I didn't ask why. And I think there is a 50/50 chance he really didn't remember moving the chair. After all, he has gotten in the car in the morning with one shoe on but forgot to put on the other shoe. These things happen. Especially when you are thinking really hard about legos.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hula Hooping Singing Cowgirl

This is my daughter Zoe performing in her school talent show a few weeks ago. She is 5 years old. She had been watching her brother play piano in the talent show the last two years and this was her big chance to finally be in it herself. I figured her main talent is cuteness, so we went with it. It was soooo fun to watch her perform. I hope you like it too.